Even if you don’t know what a tuile cookie is (pronounced “twill” or “tweel”), you’ve probably eaten them before. They’re delicate and sweet and often stuck into desserts, especially ice cream, at fancy restaurants. The great thing about tuile cookies is that they come out of the oven soft and pliable, allowing you to shape them whatever way you want before they cool and harden. They’re crisp and sweet and buttery–like the most delicate, most delicious ice cream cone you’ve ever had. In fact, ice cream cones are what got me thinking of tuile.
It’s 80 degrees here today, so I started thinking about making some ice cream. Then I thought about making my own ice cream cones. Then I thought about tuiles. And since there doesn’t seem to be a recipe for vegan tuile cookies on the internet, I decided to make up my own. And it worked! Perfectly. (I know, I’m just as shocked as you are. Apparently you really can learn how to make fancy things just by watching a lot of cooking shows on tv. My sister and I used to come home from school watch Great Chefs on PBS before the Food Network ever existed. Remember that show? I’m pretty sure that’s where I learned about tuile.)
So anyway. Tuile cookies aren’t hard, but they do require a few tools, some concentration, and the willingness to lightly burn your fingers. Since I don’t mind sacrificing myself for cookies, this wasn’t a problem for me. Just be forewarned. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:
- A silpat, or non-stick mat, or waxed parchment paper
- An offset spatula
- A clean piece of cardboard (not super thick) or tuile template
- Molds (bowl, rolled paper, whatever)
Let’s get to the recipe, I’ll explain in more detail as I go.
Vegan Tuile Cookies
Makes 1-2 dozen depending on size
1/2 Cup Earth Balance, softened
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Tbs Flax Egg*
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Tbs Flax Seed
1/4 Cup Water
Grind the flax seed to a powder in a spice grinder. Whisk with water and set aside. Use 2 Tbs of this mixture for the tuile cookies, you’ll have a little left over
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Whip the Earth Balance and sugar until light and fluffy, so it looks like the photo above. Once the Earth Balance is soft enough it should whip up just fine.
Add flax egg, extract, and salt. Whip until you see medium to stiff peaks like above. Gently fold in flour and mix until well combined. Your batter is ready, so prepare your workstation.
You can buy specialized tuile templates in lots of different shapes, but a piece of clean cardboard works just as well. I traced a glass and cut the circle out with an x-acto knife for my template. You can do circles, squares, rectangles, flowers, stars – anything!
Put your template down on your silpat and add a glob of batter. Using your offset spatula, carefully spread the batter out to fill the template, remove the excess batter.
Lift the template up to remove it. You’re cookies are ready to go in the oven. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. You may need to experiment with baking time to reach the ideal balance between strength and pliability.
I recommend not making more than 2-3 cookies at a time. You’ll need to shape them immediately after they come out of the oven, and since they harden quickly, it’s difficult to shape more than 2 or 3 in one go.
It’s also important to completely cool the baking sheet between each batch. Dump the hot baking sheet in the sink and spray it down with cold water. Dry thoroughly before the next batch.
When they come out of the oven, let them sit on the cookie sheet for 15-30 seconds. Gently remove them with a spatula and shape them immediately (this is the part where you might burn your fingers). You can make all sorts of shapes. If your template was circular, here are some ways you can shape them. I’m in the process of forming bowls in this picture, and I had already made cones, cylinders, and tacos.
I used regular paper, rolled into cylinders and cones and taped, to make the other shapes. Once cool the shape will set.
Now you can use them whichever way you want! I filled mine with almond soy pudding and fresh strawberries. You can add them to ice cream, fill them with vegan pastry cream, stuff them with berries or custard, dip them in chocolate–whatever. If you want to make the cookies ahead, I recommend not filling them until the last minute to prevent the cookies from getting soggy.
And I haven’t forgotten about ice cream. I actually bought an ice cream machine today, so I’ll post a recipe for vegan ice cream in the future, now that I know how to make the cones!